Pilates is a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements. It builds a strong core, increases strength and flexibility simultaneously, and improves posture, stability and alignment. It also emphasizes complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, and proper breathing. One becomes acutely aware of how the body feels, where it is in space, and how best to control its movement.
Pilates can really make a difference in an athlete’s body and health, here’s how.
1) It’s a refreshing mind-body workout giving athletes a mental break.
By emphasizing on proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentration on smooth, flowing movement, the athlete becomes acutely in tune with your body which actually allows one to learn how to control its movement.
2) Helps develop a strong core – flat abdominals and a strong back
Pilates exercises help develop a strong “core,” or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle.
3) Helps gain long, lean muscles and flexibility
More conventional or traditional workouts are weight bearing and tend to build short, bulky muscles – the type most prone to injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility.
4) Addresses Muscular Imbalances
Several muscle groups are focused on individually in Pilates, and many exercises are performed one side at a time. This helps to determine muscular imbalances and gives you an idea of what muscles you need to work on.
5) Improves Balance and Coordination
This is an obvious benefit to any sport or activity. Improved balance and coordination will help reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance.
6) Improves Posture and Mobility
A strengthened core and back help to improve posture and relieves pain. Improved posture and mobility also helps to improve form and efficiency while running.
7) Helps create an evenly conditioned body, improves sports performance, and prevents injuries
Pilates conditions the whole body, even the ankles and feet. No muscle group is over trained or under trained. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities and sports with greater ease and better performance. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
Aim at a 45-60 minutes beginner’s Pilates class and train at least once per week. So roll out those yoga mats, and get flexing!